A psychologist told me that anger is an energizing emotion. With discipline, that anger can be channeled into productive action. To me, crying is weakening. I wind up feeling lousy; my eyes get red and puffy and my nose gets stuffy. It doesn't make me want to jump in and deal with a problem assertively.
A question for the can't-help-it criers: How do you feel when you cry? Are you left saddened, or do you just carry on as normal?
I have a friend who cries at the drop of a hat, and I love her to pieces. She's sensitive and sweet, but I avoid telling her anything the least bit sad.
Draining and frustrating. It's why I said earlier there's no way I'd be doing it deliberately, or for manipulative purposes or at all if I could help it. (I have greatly improved over the years in my control, but it's not easy).
Crying when I'm sad is a completely different emotion. But this anger-leaking crying is a symptom of intense frustration, and it just adds further to my frustration e.g. not only did XYZ happen but now I'm also crying at work! Gee great, something else to feel angry about!
I agree that it is not productive to dealing with a problem assertively, but for me it only happens when I'm already in a position where I feel helpless or that I can't deal with the situation - lack of control, unfair treatment etc - so that's when I get angry and frustrated and it happens. It's very rare now as I'm the most senior staff at my office excluding the board of directors, so anytime I feel that way it's normally due to something the Board has done, because anything below that level I *do* have control over and is in my realm to sort out, regardless of how stressful or annoying it might be.
There are factors that contribute, such as tiredness and other stressors. Last week I walked out of an OB appointment in tears, and I was angry with myself afterwards because it was the type of situation I'd normally excel at resolving. But they'd already kept me waiting on-and-off for over 2 hours, and my poor 1 year old who never cries was crying for the third time because he was hungry and tired (I had brought ample snacks but he'd finished them and it was meant to be a quick routine appointment, instead they'd assigned a med student who kept going to consult the senior OB, they were basically using me as a guinea pig). I'd had an exhausting night the night beforehand and was tired, and was also stressed out from the repeated waits and dealing with my poor son. So it got to a point where I couldn't find my words and just gave up. That annoys me, because it was a situation that pushed me to the limit that probably wouldn't usually. So definitely there are days worse than others! Although perhaps if I'd actually stayed and cried the situation would have been resolved, so maybe I should have used the tears to my advantage! I had to put my son's needs first though.